January 9, 2022
From November 14 to 17, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, gathered its members in Jerusalem for Together in Israel: Our Pride. Our Purpose. Hadassah’s 100th National Convention. The meeting was the first in-person national convention since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in 2020 and the one-hundredth national convention since the inaugural event was held in Rochester, NY, in 1914.
The capstone of the 2022 convention was the Hadassah Honors award ceremony on November 16. Former Hadassah National President and longtime volunteer leader Marlene Post received the Henrietta Szold Award, Hadassah’s highest honor, and First Lady of Israel Michal Herzog received the Power of Esther Award. Named for Hadassah’s visionary founder, the Henrietta Szold Award is given to individuals who embody her ideals and beliefs. The Power of Esther Award honors women who, in standing up for just causes, follow in the footsteps of the Bible’s Queen Esther. (Hadassah is Esther in Hebrew.)
San Antonio Chapter Members Joan Westgor & Samantha Kennedy participated in the convention workshops & select group meetings. Joan, a professional nurse, joined the Hadassah Nurses’ Council in touring Hadassah’s renowned School of Nursing, which is part of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s two hospitals in Israel.
Samantha Kennedy of Temple Beth-El reported: “As Hadassah members, we were privy to Israel’s diversity embraced by the Hadassah Hospitals while performing under the auspices of a Best-in-Class medical system.” Kennedy also noted, “I am ever so grateful to have seen so many lives and back stories intersecting in a sacred space where the only intention is to serve humanity. That is where Hadassah’s Mission Statement is a living, breathing testimony to our responsibility of Tikkun Olam, and it is why I am a Life Member of Hadassah.” Tikkun Olam translates to mean Repair the World!
Many new initiatives were introduced at the convention for attendees to share with their respective chapters upon their return home. Joan and Samantha are both looking forward to 2023.